Book Reviews

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

As someone always late to the Book Hype party by several years, it is surprising that I finally read this book within a year and half of its publication date. Amazon advertisements on my browser have been shoving this book in my face for ages and bloggers have been reviewing it left and right. I finally borrowed it from my library 3 days back.

Goodreads synopsis:

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?


This book starts off at a brisk pace. You have the protagonist Rachel who takes the 8.04 every morning. During transit, she makes up stories of other people she encounters during the journey. Now, we’ve all done that, haven’t we? Until there’s a change in her routine because of something she’s seen out her compartment window.

Rachel was portrayed excellently. Her drinking problem is handled neatly. There’s no light bulb moment where she suddenly decides to stop drinking. She has her ups and downs. It is a work in progress and it made her character seem more real. The reader can some times sympathize with Rachel too.

There is no information overload in this book. Everything is slowly revealed over the course of development of the story. As the story develops, you can’t help but judge some of the characters and their actions. This is one of those books were you absolutely hate most of the characters but you keep on reading because the plot is SO good.

The writing is a little off at places. Visual descriptions weren’t that agreeable for me. How do you “aggressively drink a glass of water”? HOW? But the story is gripping and the writing seems forgivable then.

The book is very plot driven and fast paced. It is an engrossing read and is pretty unpredictable in the beginning. It is when I reached the halfway mark that the troubles began. I don’t know if it is because of me having read too many thrillers but it was just very easy to guess who the antagonist was and the motive too. I was hoping that my assumptions wouldn’t be right, that it will all be tied up neatly and surprisingly, but it ended up being exactly like I thought it would.

There is an airtight plot with which so much could have been done but the ending seemed too regular. It seemed like just another basic thriller. In the last 20 pages, the convictions just aren’t strong enough. A book which I was not able to put down until then became too plain and boring because of the ending. The book just didn’t realize the potential that it had with that great a plot.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


What did you think of the review? Did you like this book? Let me know in the comments! 🙂



27 thoughts on “The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

  1. Great review, Shruti! I’ve actually been putting off reading this book for a while because of all the hype that surrounded it, but I haven’t read a mystery/thriller in a while so I might give it a go. Just also letting you know that I’ve nominated for you the Liebster Award
    I know you’ve already done it but I thought you deserved to know that I love your blog and the content you put out 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Did you really able to guess who the bad guy is? I couldn’t guess but I really like reading this book. I also have a review of it on my blog. I am on the hunt of other great thriller/suspense books. Since you have mentioned that you read many books to guess who the bad guy is, please do recommend me any good ones. Great review by the way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I liked reading this book too. It was a page turner, I’ll give it that. But I just felt that the ending was a let down. As for thrillers, you should try the Millennium series, Shutter Island, and any of Stephen King’s books. For suspense, Mary Higgins Clark is the best. The more you read her books, the more you’ll start noticing a pattern to them. But, when you read her books for the first time they’ll definitely be proper suspenseful novels. My personal favorites are Remember Me and On the Street Where You Live. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is. I’d certainly recommend it but I don’t know if our tastes would match exactly though because I agreed with most of your review except the part about the ending. (But I personally knew someone like that so maybe that’s why)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I enjoyed this reading this book. That sentence though on drinking water aggressively lol how did I miss that. Hilarious!What i loved about the book is that it gave an insight into the mind of an alcoholic. That is what has stayed with me months later after reading it. It made me more sympathetic to alcoholics. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMG, yes. Rachel was characterized extremely well and it does give an interesting insight into an alcoholic’s mind. I liked how she keeps slipping up and drinking again. She doesn’t suddenly stop and that’s what made me sympathetic to her character.


  4. I just finished the audiobook myself. To me Rachel was the most interesting of the three characters. The writing was off and I didn’t care much for some parts of the story overall. I am actually excited to see this one made into a movie thinking maybe it will improve the things I didn’t like.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I completely wholeheartedly agree with your review! Felt it was so predictable I too guessed the outcome quite early on it the plot! I felt it very influenced by Gone Girl but the female characters were just that little bit off , didn’t really get all the hype about it 😬

    Liked by 1 person

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